Chargers Draft

LA Chargers debate: Justin Herbert vs Jordan Love

By Steven Haglund
PALO ALTO, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks warms up during pregame warm ups prior to the start of an NCAA football game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
PALO ALTO, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks warms up during pregame warm ups prior to the start of an NCAA football game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

LA Chargers debate: Justin Herbert vs Jordan Love, differences

So far, we’ve talked about the physical attributes of these two quarterbacks. Both are incredibly talented throwers of the football. Love is the better touch thrower, but Herbert has the stronger arm. Both are able to make the requisite splash throws needed to win football games in the NFL.

The main difference between these two comes down to the mental aspect of the position. While the position has changed a little bit with the influence of the college game becoming more and more apparent, the mental aspect of playing quarterback will never change.

The great ones all excel at this aspect of the sport, and it’s something Chargers fans were accustomed to seeing their quarterback do with Philip Rivers at the helm.

Believe it or not, Love actually possesses the superior mental processor of the two. What I mean by that is the ability to make reads on any given play and go through the natural progressions of the play. Love has a fantastic processor and is really able to snap his head to the next read and ultimately make the throw. Tagovailoa is also great at this aspect of the position.

When you turn on the film, Love will sit calmly in the pocket and let the play develop. Turn on any game of his, even his worst one against BYU this year, and you’ll see his head work sideline to sideline as he surveys the defense.

Herbert, however, really struggles to read defenses once his primary read is taken away. I think this is one reason why the Oregon coaching staff decided to take some freedom away from him this year and throw way more screen passes than they did previously.

Herbert has been praised for his accuracy, but I believe his completion percentage is inflated by the amount of screen passes he threw. It’s also important to recognize the difference between completion percentage and actually being accurate, which has more to do with ball placement.

As a quarterback, you make the throws that you are asked to do, but Herbert’s mental processing is not great. He hasn’t shown the ability to stay patient in the pocket, read the defense, and throw with anticipation a whole lot throughout his career.

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